Life in Bromley, London and the UK at large after the riots of a month ago is getting back to normal — and interesting facts are coming out about the riots.
For example, the riots will cost £133m in policing and compensation for businesses hit by the violence. Also, 75% of the people who were charged for the theft, looting and general destruction had a previous criminal record. Thus, as originally thought, this was about opportunistic theft – shear criminality.
So I hope that the justice system continues to come down hard on those involved. As regardless of the underlining social issues, behaving in this sort of way should not and cannot be tolerated or excused.
Not now, not ever!
The senseless violence, looting, arson and rioting that happened in London and other parts of the UK last week is indefensible. And so it’s understandable that everyone including myself is trying to better understand the root causes of this savage behaviour.
However, for the historian and broadcaster David Starkey to blame it on black culture and then equate black culture with gangsta culture is just beyond infuriating. Furthermore, David just shows himself to be a truly narrow-minded individual with the following incendiary statement:
‘A substantial section of the chavs have become black. The whites have become black. A particular sort of violent, destructive, nihilistic gangster culture has become the fashion. Black and white, boy and girl operate in this language together. This language which is wholly false, which is a Jamaican patois, that’s been intruded in England and this is why so many of us have this sense of literally a foreign country.’
Not only is this career ending comment inflammatory, but it is also dangerous and has the potential to cause further violence and unrest. Particularly as he brings up Enoch Powell — another racist, who warned more than 40 years ago that immigration would ultimately cause conflict across our cities.
Yes initial protest was due to a black man being killed by a white police officer but the subsequent rioting and looting that happened last week especially outside of London, had little to do with race — particularly when you factor in that there were looters across the racial divide and asian, white and black shopkeepers/businesses all came under assault. This was pure opportunistic theft and destruction.
Thus Starkey needs to shut his mouth. Other factors were at play here. More importantly, he knows very little about black culture. He is a historian whose speciality is the Tudor dynasty and Tudor period. He has zero credibility on this subject. So enough already with the racist stereotypes and generalisations. This is the last thing we need right now.
Yes the glorification of materialism in some gangsta rap songs perhaps influenced some of these youth to target particular stores — but gangta rap music is but one type of hip hop music — and hip hop music/culture which has gone mainstream is only one aspect of black culture. Furthermore, black culture with its many facets, does not equal gangsta culture.
That all being said, you can listen for yourself as Starkey so passionately makes his bigoted argument:
Utterly shocking. Thankfully, he was challenged on the BBC program but definitely not robustly enough. Below you will find a more compelling defence from Comedian Nabil Abdul Rashid.
The additional police on the streets of London helped to calm and restore order last night. Heck, here in Bromley in was really quiet, almost too quiet. I found it a bit eerie.
But hey, I’m not going to complain too much. I long for things to go back to the way they were, but thinking that won’t happen for some time. So I’m tired and still on edge. And if I’m being completely honest, I just want to run away – far, far away from here.
Where exactly, I am not hundred per cent sure but the nomad in me wants to get up and go. I don’t want to live amongst savages, even if it’s just a small percentage that are this way. This characterisation may be harsh, but really, what does it say about a city/country, when children behave this way?
Children as young as ten were out looting and rioting. And for what exactly? A new mobile phone? A plasma screen TV? A new pair of sneakers? How could they think that destroying people’s homes and businesses made sense? How could they be so cruel and engage in arson? How could they destroy their own communities and then turn on others who had done them no harm?
Whatever the issues/challenges (high unemployment, increased school fees, etc.) violence and mayhem is not justified. And so I hope that those who participated are punished to the full extent of the law. An example needs to be set. Behaviour of this kind will not be tolerated, not now, not ever!
What I didn’t mention in the Brixton Splash post is that late last night after the festival ended, there was rioting and looting in Brixton. Can’t say I’m all that surprised as there were lots of people drinking in the streets of Brixton when I left. So I’m sure it gave the criminal element in the neighbourhood a reason to come out and mingle amongst the festival goers with a view to causing disturbance late into the evening.
Now today there are further skirmishes in Peckham and Lewisham which is getting a bit too close for comfort. Meaning when it was in North London, I was concerned, but hey, what could I do. Now as the violence, looting and rioting has moved to South London am getting nervous as I live in the centre of Bromley.
Granted it’s still some distance away and the demographics of my neighbourhood is quite different from the other affected areas, one can never really tell. No longer is this about seeking answers to Mark Duggan’s death but more so an organisation by criminals to cause mayhem and thievery.
It is complete anarchy and the police just don’t seem to be able to bring things under control. The end result is that the violence is spreading. And oh yeah, the Mayor of London is on holiday. Apparently he is coming back tomorrow but he is only doing so after mounting pressure. Either way, the situation is deeply worrying as no longer is this just the Tottenham riots but the London riots.
Things are out of control. There are not enough police on the streets to restore and maintain law and order! I say its time to bring in the military to aid in taking back the city.